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Issue 1
Africa Travel> Issue 1
UPDATED: August 27, 2014
Safari Stars at Kruger
Wildlife safaris and bush walks in Kruger National Park
By Jo Kromberg

Luxury in a treehouse

I haven't been to the Kruger National Park in a long time, so my soul sang as we approached Narina Lodge. After a slightly hazardous journey from Pretoria, Gauteng Province, we find ourselves contemplating the Sabi River before us, from our ultra-luxurious chalets at Narina, MORE'S Lion Sands, situated in the world famous Kruger National Park. Narina Lodge is part of the Tinga Private Game Reserve, which has an exclusive 5000-hectare concession within this area, where guests can view the wildlife on safaris or bush walks, whilst accompanied by South Africa National Park accredited guides. Tinga vehicles also have access to the entire Kruger road network, thus allowing guests to view the areas of historical significance and aesthetic beauty that the southern Kruger National Park has to offer.

African feel Although similar to Legends Lodge, Tinga Narina Lodge has a distinctly more African feel. "Like the bird it was named after (the narina trogon), the lodge is unobtrusive, yet undeniably beautiful, blending perfectly with the riverine forest vegetation," an apt description from their website. The Lodge blends rustic African natural woods, thatch and fibres with sophisticated and understated decor and furniture styles. The main area is linked via raised wooden walkways to the nine private suites. It is elevated and built on stilts with a stunning view of the Sabie River. Facilities include a main deck overlooking the river, a library, wine cellar, lounge, bar and boutique.

We are greeted by the general manager Grant and invited to freshen up before dinner. The thatched chalets are quite an experience. They are fitted with every convenience from heated towel rails to under floor heating in the bathroom, a fully stocked mini-bar and outside shower, plus your very own splash pool. The chalets are also completely private and you feel like you own – for a short time – a piece of isolated heaven.

While lying in your spacious bath by candlelight, during the last flickers of sunset, you can survey the river beneath with the buffalo and elephants sauntering to the river for a drink.

Dinner, prepared by local staff, under the watchful eye of head chef Cecelia, is a delight. From exquisite venison pies to hearty and exotic breakfasts, the food tickles every last tastebud. I have a wonderful lie-in the next morning, while my photographer goes on the morning drive. I kick myself afterwards, because not only did they spot many buck species, a heard of buffalo, elephants and giraffes, but also a lazy pride of lion. We spend the rest of the day relaxing, before the afternoon game drive.

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